British Eventing (BE) is investigating after a horse was badly injured at Osberton Horse Trials (27 September – 1 October).
Jemima Stewart’s Vendi Fox (“Herbie”) had completed his dressage test in the six-year-old championships and was in his stable when he sustained a major wound behind his elbow that extended into his chest cavity.
The Irish gelding attempted to jump his stable door at about 8.45am and then pulled back, becoming stuck on the door, which sank into his elbow.
Jemima said the accident was “bizarre” and that she had seen nothing like it in her long-term involvement with horses and 17-year involvement with eventing.
Herbie was treated by the event’s vet, who asked for an ambulance to take the horse to a veterinary clinic. However, the horse did not leave the site for hours – during which time he was kept sedated – as when transport provided by organisers Bede arrived, Jemima felt it was not suitable for purpose.
Jemima explained that neither she nor any of Herbie’s other connections had a trailer licence so could not drive the car provided to tow the trailer.
She added that Herbie is a bad traveller alone and had never been in a trailer.
“If he’d panicked again, collapsed or woken up from the sedation on the hour-plus journey or needed putting down, what would have happened?” she asked. “We needed a vet with us.”
A vet was released later in the day to accompany them and Herbie was taken to the vet clinic by a driver from Jemima’s party. The horse is now at home and Jemima is hopeful he will recover after a long rehabilitation.
But she has made an official complaint to BE over the way the situation was handled.
A BE statement released on 6 November read: “BE has carried out a full and thorough investigation, which included collecting statements from all parties involved including the FEI veterinary officials at the event. This investigation has been concluded; and as is laid out in our complaints procedure, ‘in the event that the complainant is dissatisfied with the conclusion reached the complainant may ask the board of directors of British Eventing to review the conclusion’ if requested.”
Jemima has asked for the review and BE is now to conduct a further investigation.
Stuart Buntine of Bede said that as this is the case he could not comment, other than to say he believes some of Jemima’s complaints are inaccurate.
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